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The African Standby Force - An Overview

An overview of the concepts on which the African Standby Force (ASF) is based - with focus on the maritime domain.

Transnational - Security & Conflict - Format: Video - Size: 0 Bytes - Date: Apr, 2024 - Pages: - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: Maritime Security , Cooperative security

The Southern Talks #7 - Full Webinar

 The African Standby Force - An Overview

Our esteemed guest, Mr. Ian Ralby, founder and CEO of of I.R. Consilium, began by offering his vast knowledge and perspectives on the background concepts on which the African Standby Force (ASF) is based and the likely effectiveness of such an organisation in the maritime space.

The second half of this Webinar delved deeply into the Houthis as an organisation and their Imperial goals. The current Red Sea maritime crisis and its effect on shipping routes and worldwide trade were also examined in great detail and were an intriguing element of this webinar.

Key insights

  • There is a need to better articulate the critical importance of Maritime Security at national political levels worldwide.
  •  The importance to the global population of disruptions to maritime commercial traffic cannot be overestimated – 90% of world trade is by sea. Land-locked countries are no less affected than coastal.
  • The African Standby Force has never been implemented in a practical manner and it has no maritime purview. Although its existence may assist in overall communication between African States, the current ad hoc approach based on regional organisations cooperating on a practical basis is likely to continue.
  • 3 decentralized cooperative blocks are worth focussing on: The Djibouti Code of Conduct, the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and the Five-Plus-Five Defence Initiative.
  • Overall, the military approach to standby forces to achieve greater Peace and Security is not appropriate for Maritime spaces.
  • The Houthis word is never to be trusted. Their actions are not related to the Israel-Palestine conflict – they are a continuation of their Imperial objectives.
  • The Houthi attacks have brought them into the limelight like never before, a fact which is well-understood by other terrorist groups and criminal organisations.
  •  The effects of rerouting 50-60% of world shipping have included putting huge pressure on ports, providers of supplies to ships etc. These aspects affect consumers worldwide and need urgent attention.

Dr. Ian Ralby

CEO, I.R. Consilium

Dr. Ian Ralby is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. He has been the lead author on the Atlantic Council’s groundbreaking work on “Downstream Oil Theft,” and together with his team at I.R. Consilium, has explored effective measures for shining a light on the “invisible supply chain.”

Ralby is a recognized expert in maritime security, international law, hydrocarbons crimes, private security oversight and countering transnational crime. He works closely with governments and international organizations on maritime law and security issues around the world, leading a number of initiatives on addressing evolving and emerging threats in the maritime domain. He also frequently works on energy-related matters, both on land and offshore, particularly with regard to hydrocarbons theft and criminal or terrorist involvement in oil and gas supply chains.

Conor G. Sheedy

NSD-S Hub Head Editor

Conor G. Sheedy is the NSD-S Hub's Head Editor and will be moderator of this online event.

The Southern Talks Webinars is an NSD-S Hub initiative that focuses on the Middle East and Africa and sees guest speakers offer a regional perspective on topics such as Conflict resolution & Security, Socio-Economic issues, Terrorism, Technology and Human Security.

Each webinar lasts an hour with 30 minutes dedicated to Q&A from the online audience.

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